Another zero-word day, but this time I have a plan.
I discussed the planning problem with some of the people at my favorite writing forum, and the general consensus was, set it aside for a little while and come back to it later.
So, I’m starting to worldbuild the setting for the next story, and the hardest part for me is always coming up with a system of magic. I’m considering several options, but haven’t quite settled on one yet.
In some ways, this is my favorite part of the process… in other ways, it’s my least favorite. Still, it’s gotta be done.
Zero words today.
I’m running up against one of the biggest problems with writing mysteries, even mysteries that are hybrids with fantasies.
You’ve got to plan everything out at least a dozen steps in advance.
I am, at heart, what’s called a “pantser.” That is, I write mostly by the seat of my pants. Sometimes I’ll have a loose outline, but even when that happens I find myself inside a scene changing it, tweaking it, and sometimes tossing it away in favor of something else. Sometimes this style of writing is called “discovery writing,” because you’re discovering the story as you write it.
This just plain doesn’t work well for mysteries. Mysteries require both red herrings and bread crumbs being dropped almost from Page One, and if you don’t do that in the first draft you gotta do a ton of rewriting later, even more than what you would normally do in a first rewrite.
I am thinking of setting the mystery aside for a little while and letting things percolate in the back of my brain while I do some worldbuilding for another idea… and I have plenty of other ideas I could work on.
Had a fairly pleasant weekend, despite the fact that Sunday I don’t think the temperature got above single digits (Fahrenheit) all day, and that I had to go out in that not once but twice.
I’d also spent a lot of the weekend pondering the “crisis of faith” scene and mapped out at least an initial gameplan of how to do it. I’ve also decided that I’m going to bring back in a little more crisis in some low points later in the story. I figure any good mystery should have more than one red herring and as each one is ruled out he’s going to be getting a little down about it.
All told today, I got 2,075 words done, which I consider a good day’s work.
As I mentioned yesterday, I was running errands most of the day and as a result I didn’t get any writing done today. I still need to work out how to write the crisis of faith the protagonist is going to be going through, but I’ll let it percolate over the weekend and see what I come up with.
Total for the week: 5,329 words.
Only about 1,100 words today, but I’m prepping in my head for the main character’s crisis of faith which should come in the next scene or two.
I was asked yesterday for more details, and I think I’ll dole them out slowly, in part just because I can, and in part because things are still in flux, and some things may not be decided until I reach the bridge in question, so to speak.
The reason the main character will have a crisis of faith is because he’s a cleric of the god of reason and knowledge in this world. Given that his god is, if not all-knowing, then very close to it, then he probably would have known about the accusation heading for the cleric, so the cleric is wondering why he wasn’t warned… is it a test, has he failed his god in some way, what?
It’s going to be a challenging scene to write, so I’m trying to work out a basic pattern in my mind before I start putting words on screen. I have several errands to take a family member on tomorrow (he’s blind, I’m not letting him drive my car!), so it’ll be a slow writing day, but maybe I can get some planning done as well.
Finally figured out where I was going… at least the next step. Got a little over 1,600 words done before I hit the next point where I have to figure out where I’m going.
Since this is a fantasy/mystery mix, I wanted to get the crime in fairly early (though I may change it later), and that’s pretty much what I did, and the main character is currently sitting in a cell, accused of the crime. Once he gets out, he’ll start to investigate it on his own.
Obviously, I don’t want to spoil the whole book by giving everything away at this point. You’ll just have to wait till I publish.
I’m gonna call this a lost day of writing.
I know where I am in the story, and I know where I want to get to, but I’m struggling to find a path from A to B. Hopefully I figure it out soon so I can get back to writing.
I did manage almost 500 words anyway… I guess that’s progress of sorts.